Starting an Art Business: Interview with Kelly Marie

messyeverafter-1537848392891 (1)

     I recently did an interview on Kelly Marie where she shares vital advice on starting an art business and more! Kelly is a talented abstract artist who resides in Oceanside, California. I am very thankful that she took the time to share her knowledge. Be sure to glean all of the information out of of her answers below  – and then go apply it to your art career!

  • What advice would you give to artists that are trying to start a business with their art?
“The best advice I can give for anyone starting a business around their art is to first make sure you’re in it for the right reasons. Being a professional artist is arduous and often feels like you’re making very little progress with sales even if you put in 40+ hours of work a week. Make sure passion is what drives you and never stop pushing yourself to improve.” What methods do you use to market your art? “I mainly focus on social media marketing. I post on Instagram, Facebook, Reddit, and Twitter on a regular basis. I also use Pinterest and Tumblr when I remember to. The best ways I have gotten exposure for my work is through larger Instagram and Facebook accounts sharing my photos and process videos. Oh, and I also made videos for Youtube a while ago and still get traffic to my site from the description links. I currently do not pay to promote my work on any platform.”
  • Which social media platforms do you recommend for promoting art and why?
“Instagram is by far the best at the moment. It’s such a visual platform and you can find a lot of really great content. I spend most of my efforts growing my Insta following because it’s much easier for me to drive that traffic to my blog and store than on other platforms. Facebook is the second on my list. I really encourage people to try all of the platforms over time and see how each one works for them.”
  •  What should you avoid when trying to start an art business?
“Investing a lot of money before you know who you are as an artist and have interest in your work. In the business world ‘you have to spend money to make money’ is thrown around a lot, but when it overlaps with your art it’s not so simple. Before you invest a bunch of money in an online store front, a fancy printer, all the best professional art supplies, or anything else you think you might need I suggest making sure you know what you have to say as an artist. In my experience, you as the artist are the product. You have to tell your story first and build your following before you dump a lot of money into building your physical inventory. That being said, you definitely should invest in the supplies that will help you find your style and hone your craft.”
  •  Are you a full-time or part-time artist? How do you have your life arranged to be able to create art and make an income off of it?
“I am a full time creator. I am one of those people who doesn’t function long term in a typical 9-5 office setting. Back in 2016, I quit my last office job and jumped into art full time to save my sanity, but it took me a year to start generating somewhat consistent income. Luckily, I’ve always built my life around my creative whims so I can survive off of very little income for a while. I also have a partner that fully supports what I do. At the moment, my life revolves around art. I never really take a day off and I’m always thinking of different ways to bring in more income. I have diversified my income streams quite a bit so that I’m not just dependent on physical sales from my store. I suggest this for any creator. Don’t just depend on one thing to put food on the table.”
  •  Do you recommend art fairs for selling art?
“I do – but they have to be the right ones. There are a lot of sub-par events out there. I sadly have participated in too many of those. Do a lot of research and attend a fair before you pay to participate. Talk to the artists displaying similar work and see if they have been there before and ask how the crowd treats them. Make sure you look for the events with only high quality artists. Don’t do shows where multi level marketing vendors participate. That’s not the right scene for fine art. Be wary of events with high show fees and little recognition or attendance. Also, participating in a large outdoor art fair will require a huge investment for your tent, display, booth fee, and more. Don’t jump into the fair scene right away if you are short on funds. If you have to opportunity and the means to do art fairs, I highly recommend it. There are few things more satisfying than speaking to potential customers face to face and seeing how they respond to your work.”
  •  What do you do to get over “artist’s block”?
“Most of them time, I take measures to prevent artist’s block from even happening. I think it’s really important to understand the creative cycles your brain goes through and build your schedule to complement that. Each week, I often binge create and work on multiple pieces at a time for a couple of days whether I have inspiration or not. Once I am nearing completion of those pieces I can feel my creative juices run out. That’s when I switch to blog writing, updating my store inventory, bookkeeping, social media marketing, and all the other more tedious tasks to give my creative mind a break. Having different tasks that use various parts of my brain to alternate between through each week keeps me feeling energized. But, there are times where I get completely burned out from my entire schedule and actually do feel blocked. In those moments, I go outside. I make food. I go to dinner with awesome people. Sometimes you have to step away from all of it and just recharge.”

You are welcome to comment on this post to share your thoughts and ideas. If you are interested in learning more about Kelly and her artwork, pay her website a visit at https://shop.messyeverafter.com/

Thanks for reading and hope you enjoyed!

Similar Posts


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.